Shipwrecks and Snake Bites

Text:  Acts 27-28

Scripture Reading: 

Paul on the Island of Malta

28 When we were safe on land, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2 It was raining and very cold. But the people who lived there were very good to us. They made us a fire and welcomed all of us. 3 Paul gathered a pile of sticks for the fire. He was putting them on the fire when a poisonous snake came out because of the heat and bit him on the hand. 4 The people living on the island saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand. They said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He did not die in the sea, but Justice[a] does not want him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire. He was not hurt. 6 The people thought that Paul would swell up or fall down dead. The people waited and watched him for a long time, but nothing bad happened to him. So they changed their minds about Paul.

Reflection: 

Paul had been traveling around telling people about Jesus when he was put in prison for preaching something different from what the local leaders wanted. As a prisoner, Paul was loaded into a boat to go to Rome to be sentenced in front of Caesar. During the trip, the ship encountered a hurricane and was shipwrecked at an island near Malta. Once rescued, Paul had a poisonous snake bite him.

I love the story because even though the people on the island were dealing with a hurricane they welcomed a shipload of prisoners and took care of them. The story also makes me think of all of the church school kids who love snakes and catch them. 

Prayer: 

Dear God, thank you for kind people who look out for others, even when everything is going wrong. Amen.

Focus for the Day: Hospitality In Bad Times

Author: Rachel Dudley, Director of Children’s Ministry

Copyright 2017 © First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor 2016 All rights reserved.